In response to Andrew Shortall's article in the Dec. 9 edition of the Valley Sun regarding the La Cañada Unified School District teacher-evaluation cycle and process ("Wilcox says teachers escape evaluations"), I would like to clarify a number of the key assertions presented.
LCUSD Governing Board members discussed teacher evaluation at length in open session on Sept. 28. At that meeting I presented on the newly developed teacher-evaluation instruments, which are based upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. These evaluation instruments were developed by a joint committee comprised of administrators and teachers who engaged in action research on best practices in teacher evaluation. Their finished products are exemplary tools for assessing professional practice and supporting teachers in their professional development.
Also, in my presentation and the subsequent Governing Board discussion, information was shared that every teacher within the District develops annual goals based upon professional standards. Two of the goals that all teachers must address are directly tied to how they use student-assessment data to effectively guide their instructional practices. This practice is critically important because every teacher, whether he or she is on this year's evaluation schedule or not, is developing, reflecting upon and engaging with the principal on his or her professional goals. These can be measured, in part, by student-assessment data (assessment is anything which measures student achievement or mastery of subject-area content).